3:1 I said,
“Listen, you leaders 1 of Jacob,
you rulers of the nation 2 of Israel!
You ought to know what is just, 3
and love what is evil. 6
You flay my people’s skin 7
and rip the flesh from their bones. 8
strip off their skin,
and crush their bones.
You chop them up like flesh in a pot 10 –
like meat in a kettle.
but he will not answer them.
He will hide his face from them at that time,
because they have done such wicked deeds.”
3:5 This is what the Lord says: “The prophets who mislead my people
are as good as dead. 12
If someone gives them enough to eat,
they offer an oracle of peace. 13
But if someone does not give them food,
they are ready to declare war on him. 14
it will grow dark, and you will no longer be able to read the omens. 16
The sun will set on these prophets,
and the daylight will turn to darkness over their heads. 17
the omen readers will be humiliated.
All of them will cover their mouths, 19
for they will receive no divine oracles.” 20
and have a strong commitment to justice. 22
This enables me to confront Jacob with its rebellion,
and Israel with its sin. 23
you rulers of the nation 25 of Israel!
You 26 hate justice
and pervert all that is right.
Jerusalem 29 through unjust violence.
her priests proclaim rulings for profit,
and her prophets read omens for pay.
Yet they claim to trust 32 the Lord and say,
“The Lord is among us. 33
Disaster will not overtake 34 us!”
Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins,
1 tn Heb “heads.”
2 tn Heb “house.”
3 tn Heb “Should you not know justice?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course you should!”
4 tn Heb “the ones who.”
5 tn Or “good.”
6 tn Or “evil.”
7 tn Heb “their skin from upon them.” The referent of the pronoun (“my people,” referring to Jacob and/or the house of Israel, with the
8 tn Heb “and their flesh from their bones.”
sn Micah compares the social injustice perpetrated by the house of Jacob/Israel to cannibalism, because it threatens the very lives of the oppressed.
9 tn Heb “who.”
10 tc The MT reads “and they chop up as in a pot.” The translation assumes an emendation of כַּאֲשֶׁר (ka’asher, “as”) to כִּשְׁאֵר (kish’er, “like flesh”).
11 tn Heb “then they will cry out to the
12 tn Heb “concerning the prophets, those who mislead my people.” The first person pronominal suffix is awkward in a quotation formula that introduces the words of the
13 tn Heb “those who bite with their teeth and cry out, ‘peace.’” The phrase “bite with the teeth” is taken here as idiomatic for eating. Apparently these prophets were driven by mercenary motives. If they were paid well, they gave positive oracles to their clients, but if someone could not afford to pay them, they were hostile and delivered oracles of doom.
14 tn Heb “but [as for the one] who does not place [food] in their mouths, they prepare for war against him.”
15 tn Heb “it will be night for you without a vision.”
sn The coming of night (and darkness in the following line) symbolizes the cessation of revelation.
16 tn Heb “it will be dark for you without divination.”
sn The reading of omens (Heb “divination”) was forbidden in the law (Deut 18:10), so this probably reflects the prophets’ view of how they received divine revelation.
17 tn Heb “and the day will be dark over them.”
18 tn Or “seers.”
19 tn Or “the mustache,” or perhaps “the beard.” Cf. KJV, NAB, NRSV “cover their lips.”
20 tn Heb “for there will be no answer from God.”
21 sn The prophet Micah speaks here and contrasts himself with the mercenaries just denounced by the
22 tn Heb “am full of power, the Spirit of the
23 tn Heb “to declare to Jacob his rebellion and to Israel his sin.” The words “this enables me” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
24 tn Heb “house.”
25 tn Heb “house.”
27 tn Heb “who.”
28 tn Heb “bloodshed” (so NAB, NASB, NIV); NLT “murder.”
30 sn The pronoun Her refers to Jerusalem (note the previous line).
31 tn Heb “judge for a bribe.”
32 tn Heb “they lean upon” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV); NAB “rely on.”
33 tn Heb “Is not the
34 tn Or “come upon” (so many English versions); NCV “happen to us”; CEV “come to us.”
35 tn The plural pronoun refers to the leaders, priests, and prophets mentioned in the preceding verse.
36 tn Or “into” (an adverbial accusative of result).
37 tn Heb “the mountain of the house” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV).
38 tn Heb “a high place of overgrowth.”